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Desert Diary

Archaeology/Topper Site


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It would seem that after so many years of archaeology that we really ought to have discovered everything. Fortunately for those of us who are ever eager for new frontiers, that's far from the case. It's been recently revealed, for example, that we shared this earth with another species of humans far more recently than we had known, a mere 18,000 or so years ago. To add to this glorious news, we have evidence for the first time that we humans, like other large creatures, tend to become dwarfed when stuck on islands.

Now this newly discovered, miniature fossil human, Homo floresiensis, was recovered far from the Chihuahuan Desert, in Indonesia. But other new information hits somewhat closer to home. The Topper site in South Carolina may have evidence of man in the New World as early as 50,000 years ago. Now South Carolina isn't all that close to our desert, either, but who can doubt that if humans had reached the New World that early, but that they left tracks across our Chihuahuan Desert, too. pen and ink



Contributor: Arthur H. Harris, Laboratory for Environmental Biology, Centennial Museum, University of Texas at El Paso.

Desert Diary is a joint production of the Centennial Museum and KTEP National Public Radio at the University of Texas at El Paso.



Web Resources

University of South Carolina

The Topper Site: Pre-Clovis Surprise